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Religion In An Age Of Change

Religion in an Age of Change, edited by Peter H. Ballis and Gary D. Bouma.

ISBN: 1-875223-18-5

Religion in an Age of Change contains a variety of papers exploring contemporary expressions of religion and spirituality in a rapidly changing world.
The chapters in this book were originally given as lecturers at the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. They include:
– Sociology and Theology in the Re-imaging of God, Gary Bouma
– The Future of Faith: Where Poetry and Science Meet Rufus Black
– Journeys in Christian Feminist Theology Robyn Schaefer
– Religion and Dissent Steve Russell
– Teenagers and Religious Education Kath Engebretson
– Clergy at the Crossroads P. Harry Ballis
– Leadership issues facing Catholic Education Therese D’Orsa
– Church and the Electronic Culture Peter Horsfield
– New Religious Movements in Australia Rowan Ireland

Price: $10.00

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Many Religions, All Australian

Many Religions, All Australian: Religious Settlement, Identity and Cultural Diversity, edited by Gary Bouma.

ISBN: 1-875223-14-2

Quietly, with comparatively little drama, a large number of very different religious groups came and settled in Australia, becoming part of the landscape, part of Australian life and society. As these groups have settled in they have come to be accepted such that now Australian society can be described as having many religions, all Australian. Hence the title, Many Religions, All Australian.

We know something of the process through which individual immigrants come to be Australians, but how do religions become Australian? This question is addressed by the concept of religious settlement as developed in this book. Not only does Australia have many religions, but these religions have become or are becoming Australian.

One of the unintended consequences of post-war immigration to Australia has been a dramatic alteration in the religious profile of this society as several religious groups have settled in substantial numbers. Part of becoming multicultural has involved becoming religiously plural. Coping with, adjusting to and finally celebrating this religious diversity has involved a great deal of quiet effort on the part of many Australians in religious organisations, in social agencies and governmental departments. The result has been a peaceful transition from a time in which one religious group dominated the religious culture of Australia to a time in which power, legitimacy and influence are shared among a wide variety of Christian and other religious groups. In this process religious groups have come to see themselves as part of Australia, indeed as Australian.

Australia is a success story of religious settlement involving highly diverse religious groups. Other nations have been less successful in achieving as peaceable, productive and cooperative a religious environment. This is not because Australia has become increasingly secular, because in many ways religion is more important, more on the agenda now than before. Reasons for this successful transition include the Australian institution of giving others a ‘fair go’, Australian experiences in the 19th century with religious sectarianism, 20th century ecumenism, the Australian pattern of funding primary and secondary education, and a history of resolving conflict by reference to courts of law. The framework provided by Australia’s civic values of tolerance, equality, and freedom of speech and religion together with the structures of constitutional parliamentary democracy and the rule of law have worked together to enable this transition.

The newly emergent religious diversity in Australia presents challenges including justice and equity issues related to religion-based harassment, and discrimination. A cautionary note is sounded regarding the excesses of some religious groups. The book concludes with a set of recommendations from the team of contributors. While Australia is well on its way to a productive and cooperative religiously plural society, more effort and continued watchfulness is required to ensure that this trend continues and is not wound back by misguided majoritarianism.

Many Religions, All Australian is published by the Christian Research Association assisted by a grant from Monash University. It is the result of a research project conducted by the World Conference on Religion and Peace supported by a grant from the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research.

Price: $30.00

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Christian Faith And The Economy In A Globalised World

Christian Faith and the Economy in a Globalised World, by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875223-70-1

With increasing debt levels, ageing populations, climate change and deepening divisions between rich and poor, the world is staggering economically. Some Christian bodies have called for profound economic changes for the flourishing of human life in a more equitable and sustainable world. However, survey data shows that, while Christians have a compassion for the poor, many find it difficult to know how to apply the principles of the Christian faith to economic matters.

In summarising some of the viewpoints, this paper aims to promote consideration of these issues, as human beings seek new, just and sustainable ways of living in a globalised world.

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Price: from $6.00

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Pointers Vol.21-4 For Downloading

Pointers Vol.21-4 (December 2011)

Articles include:

Why Some Churches Decline While Others Grow.  New research from England provides an explanation which fits, in part, with the Australian experience. Read more in this edition of Pointers.

Dropping Out of Church. Not many children attend church today compared with years gone by. Yet the drop-out rates have not changed greatly. For the details of this new research, see this edition of Pointers.

Social Networking. Social networking is widespread among young people. What are some of the challenges and pitfalls associated with it? Pointers looks at the latest data gathered from secondary school students in the last 6 months.

Faith and Film. The Christian use of film has had many ups and downs. Today, there are new opportunities for local churches to use visual media effectively. Some of the possibilities are outlined in this article in Pointers.

Factors in Church Giving. Some new research on financial giving to churches in the United States suggests why some churches thrive better financially than others. Find the details here.

Price: $6.00

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Sowing And Nurturing: Challenges And Possibilities For Rural Churches

Sowing and Nurturing: Challenges and Possibilities for Rural Churches, by Philip Hughes and Audra Kunciunas

ISBN: 978-1-875223-66-4

This small book explores the challenges currently facing many rural churches. It explores possible answers to the issues such as where they can find suitable leadership? How do they effectively engage younger people who remain in rural areas? How can they give hope in difficult times? Options are presented to stimulate discussion, generate ideas and encourage reflection on the nature and life of the rural churches.

This book was developed out of research with Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Uniting churches in rural areas.

The book is very suitable for use by church councils. Contact the CRA for a special price for bulk orders.

Price: $5.00

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Responding To Need: A Study Of Church-based Counselling Services

Responding to Need: A study of selected church-based counselling services in Melbourne, by Vivienne Mountain

ISBN: 978-1-875223-67-1

Responding to Need describes the variety of counselling services offered by local churches in Melbourne. The stories of formation and the ongoing experiences of staff provide positive illustrations of what churches can do to live out Gospel values through interaction with their local communities. This book will be of interest to those currently working in church-based counselling services or local churches looking at starting such services.

Price: $10.00

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Building Stronger Communities

Building Stronger Communities, by Philip Hughes, Alan Black, Peter Kaldor, John Bellamy and Keith Castle.

ISBN: 978-08684-0-814-9.

This is a practical book that looks at ways Australian communities can be made stronger. Written in an accessible style for a wide audience, it offers useful principles and pointers for students, community workers, community leaders, policy makers and ordinary citizens.

The book is underpinned by recent Australian research, including two major surveys, as well as the authors’ many years of experience working with different types of communities in a variety of settings, including directly with community groups and social agencies as well as in academia. It is distinguished from comparable volumes by its extensive consideration of communities of interest and not just communities based on locality.

Price: $35.00

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Putting Life Together

Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research, by Philip Hughes

ISBN: 978-1-875138-07-4

How do young people between the ages of 13 and 24 put life together? What do they value in life? What parts does religion and spirituality play? Based on interviews and surveys over four years, this book provides a detailed and well-founded picture of Australian young people.

The book examines the influences of families, schools and churches on the lives of young people and describes how they can best help young people to enjoy positive and responsible relationships with themselves, close others, the wider society, the natural environment and with God.  It suggests ways of pointing young people to the spiritual dimension of life, respecting their frameworks for seeing the world, but also doing justice to the counter-cultural nature of the Christian faith.

This volume by Philip Hughes is a must for educators, youth workers and church leaders. Hughes’ meticulous research has probed the way Generation Y views the world and the relationships with self, society and nature. Probing even deeper, this research uncovers a dimension of the spiritual in all these relationships, a dimension that is not tradition but provocative, a dimension that is likely to transform society in the future. – Dr Norman Habel, Professorial Fellow, Flinders University.

This book is essential reading for all professionals involved in the education and care of youth. What makes it so valuable is that it not only reports significant research findings, it interprets the complexity of cultural influences on young people’s spiritual and moral development. Hughes has developed a most informative and helpful perspective on the spirituality of young people. – Graham Rossiter, Professor of Moral and Religious Education, Australian Catholic University.

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Price: from $8.50

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Australia’s Religious Communities 3rd Edition Cd-rom

Australia’s Religious Communities (3rd Edition)

Just fully revised, including data from 2009 and 2010.

This superb encyclopaedia of Australian religion contains detailed materials on the history, beliefs and practices, and organisation on each of the major religious groups in Australia. It also contains detailed up-to-date statistics, biographies of significant people, references and pop-up glossaries.  Videos show worship in most of these groups.

Less detailed materials are available for every small religious group. In all, this CD-Rom covers about 174 religious groups in Australia.

The CD also contains extensive materials about other aspects of religion. It looks at the history of religion of religion in Australia overall, religious dialogue, immigration, ethics and the impact of religion on values.

The CD has extensive hperlinks to allow students to follow themes as well as an internal fast search-engine.

It is full of colour photos and graphic elements.

It runs in a web-browser and functions on PCs, Mac and Linux computers. Site licences are available from the CRA for schools, libraries and wherever multiple copies are needed.

Price: $30.00

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Spirit Matters

Spirit Matters: How Making Sense of Life Affects Wellbeing, By Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes and Alan Black

ISBN: 978-0980-827-507

Spirit Matters describes the various religious, spiritual and secular ways Australians approach life. It examines the consequences for personal and social wellbeing of these various approaches. The book argues that how we choose to live DOES make a difference to our experiences of life and our contributions to the wider society.

Prof. Ross Langmead (Whitley College and Secretary to the Australian Association for Mission Studies) writes:

‘Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes and Alan Black have written a beautifully clear and accessible book on how Australians make sense of life, whether through types of Christian faith, other religions, alternative spiritualities or secular approaches. Based on the Wellbeing and Security Survey in 2002, it is full of fascinating data showing that how people nourish their spirit really does matter.  Along the way, the brief summaries of the background debates on topics such as secularisation, spirituality and well-being are gems of brevity and clarity.  An essential book for understanding Australian spirituality.’

Price: $35.00

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